Lebanon native John Ray Clemmons, an attorney, recently kicked off his campaign to represent District 55 in the Tennessee House of Representatives by filing his qualifying petition with the Davidson County Election Commission. Clemmons will appear on the Aug. 7 Democratic primary ballot.
Citing a need for new energy and ideas and a renewed focus on the issues that matter to Tennesseans, Clemmons vowed to work tirelessly to promote a common sense legislative agenda and bring a heightened level of focus to his constituents’ needs.
“We must focus on the future,” said Clemmons. “The two questions every voter must ask themselves when they vote are, ‘What do I want the future of my state to look like?’ and ‘Who has new ideas and the energy to work the hardest to ensure that promising future for my family?’
“Tennessee’s hard working families rightfully expect their state legislator to actively represent them, fight for their interests, seek and devise solutions to complex issues, and be available to them on a daily basis. I plan to bring the tools and work ethic I learned growing up in Lebanon on my family’s farm and in the public school system to the state Capitol. I am going to roll up my sleeves and set about rehabilitating our state and rebuilding the Democratic Party for the future from the inside. Our future starts now.”
Clemmons said he brings public and private experience to the state legislature. He and his wife, Tamara, have two sons, John, 4, and Finn, 2, and a third son is due in July. While practicing law, recently cofounding his own law firm with fellow Lebanon native Michael Clemons, Clemmons has remained actively engaged in his neighborhood and the nonprofit community, taking leadership roles in most. He has served as chairman of the board of directors for Nashville Returning Baseball to the Inner-Cities since 2011 and as president of Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors, Inc. from 2012-13, co-founded Friends of Sevier Park, Inc., and also serves as co-president of the Columbia Alumni Association of greater Nashville.
Clemmons also has a long history of public service and involvement in government and democratic politics. Most recently, Clemmons served as a commissioner on the Tennessee Civil Service Commission, as an appointee of Gov. Phil Bredesen, and as a commissioner on the Metropolitan Board of Fair Commissioners, as an appointee of Mayor Karl Dean.
Previously, Clemmons served as the political director for the Tennessee Democratic Party, worked as a legislative aide for U.S. Congressman Bob Clement in Washington, D.C., and performed research for George Stephanopoulos while attending Columbia University in New York City.
Clemmons is a member of Lebanon High School’s class of 1995.